It didn’t take long for David Stern to realize that the business his family had built, and built quite successfully, needed to change if it wanted to continue the prosperity. Paris Cleaners Inc. was started as a dry cleaning company in the 1940s and that worked quite well into the 1970s.
But Stern saw changes ahead that threatened the future. New fabrics and consumers trends were being developed that would limit the need for dry cleaning services. The company needed to adapt and give its customers another reason to continue using its services.
Stern settled on uniform rentals and a new division of the company was born. Of course, it wasn’t easy to make this new division a success. Stern initially served as salesperson, washroom operator, delivery driver, maintenance technician and president of the division.
But despite the overwhelming responsibilities facing him, he was able to build a strong culture and lay the ground work for a successful business concept.
He tries to keep things personal and intimate to provide the same level of services one would expect from a large company, but with the touch of a small business. Employees see that and develop long-term relationships with customers that help the company thrive.
As the uniform rental division began to peak, Stern looked to innovate once again and created a division for hospital linen services. Using the same approach, Stern again built a concept, drew in customers and found another way to drive growth.
Stern trusts employees to make good decisions and gives them the power to keep the company moving ahead. He maintains a sense of curiosity that always has him looking out for the next great idea or the next step that will help his business be an even better help to his clients.